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Sweden wants more foreign students

Published torsdag 4 juli 2013 kl 10.15
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan in Stockholm .Photo:Scanpix

The government is proposing that foreign students who have applied to universities in Sweden receive their admission information much earlier than is normal today.

"With our current system, students don't find out until July if they are coming to Sweden to study in the autumn. That's too short a preparation time," says Education Minister Jan Björklund.

Björklund wants students who want to be informed of their admission places at least three to six months before courses start, so that they will have sufficient time for sorting out housing, apply for scholarships and perhaps apply for a residence permit.

The motive for the proposal is to attract more students from outside Europe.

"I think we should do what we can to attract elite students from other parts of the world. We benefit from it. And if some of these students choose to stay here in Sweden and contribute to our country's development, that's just a bonus," said Björklund.

University studies in Sweden are free, but only if you come from Sweden or other EU or EES countries. In 2011, the government imposed tuition on those from outside that area, which led to the number of non-European students here dropping in half, from 14,000 to 7000.

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